A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

December 1, 2021

What's in a Photo?


I have looked at this photo a dozen or more times, but I never noticed the flag pole in the rear. Last week while Scott was visiting, we were examining this photo and I finally noticed the flag pole.  If you recall in

Dec. 28, 2010, I wrote about a letter I found at the National Archives that discussed the flag pole. Here is an excerpt from the post, "This letter is from W. W. Wright to Ada Anderson details a request for a flag and flag pole for the USMRR. According to the letter, the men of the USMRR were motivated to buy and display a flag after President Lincoln's visit to Aquia Creek in April, 1863. But this will be no ordinary flag. Wright calls or a thirty-foot flag on a 100- foot tall, two stage mast. That would be over two feet tall in O scale. I did not see this flag pole in any photos, so it is possible it did not get built. "

Well, now I realize I have seen the flag pole.  This photo was taken during the evacuation of Aquia Landing after the Battle of Chancellorsville and the start of the Gettysburg Campaign. Here is an enlargement of the area where the wharf meets the shore.  Note the flag pole. If I noticed it before, I must have subconsciously dismissed it as a ship's mast. But that flag is behind buildings that I know are on shore, so the flag pole must also be on shore.

The upper mast looks like it might be a darker color. So I need to paint my flag in a similar manner.

Meanwhile, track gangs have been busy on the expanded Falmouth. About 30% of the track and switches are now down.

My rendition of the flag at Aquia Landing

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